Letter to Mother

February 22, 1919 – Letter to Robert’s mother:

Dear Mother,

Your letter of Jan 26 came today. And I was very glad to get it.

You seem to hate to sell the house at 1898. If Ruth is away at school next year and Jane starts housekeeping and Dad on the road, you will be left all alone. Of course it will be lonesome for you at the lake alone too, but I’d sell it if I were you. It costs so much to keep up. After Elinore + I get settled you can come + live with us but I don’t want you to spoil my boy. They say that grandmothers spoil children because they love them so much. If we live in Minnesota Dad could board with us over Sundays too.

Elinore gets her allotments regularly every month. I give her $20.00 and she gets $15.00 from the gov’t and $10.00 for Bob jr. Why doesn’t Jane write to the department that sends the money + notify them.

I think the change would be good for Elinore if she wants to go to Mrs. Wellington’s. She has not said whether she will go or not.

Swift + Co. have written me several times that my job is waiting for me when ever I want it, but I would rather not go on the road if I can find anything else. I am not thinking about work now but rest. That is what I want for a couple of weeks at least. I want the little green cottage if you will let us have it.

I wrote you a long time ago that I got your box from Scotland. It was awfully good of you Mother dear to think of me like that. I nearly cried. And Aunt Aggie picked out the things that I like too, including a plumb pudding. It nearly made me homesick.

I am glad that you have not taken the “flu.” I haven’t had it either. I see they have found the man that started the “flu.” He was a brick layer. (joke)

Thanks for the clippings. I am always glad to get them. I got a nice letter from Helen today + one from Bess.

Elinore’s brother is near here. I am going to look him up tomorrow. He is in the Signal Co. A wireless operator. She has another in Germany and a third at the Great Lakes Training Station and the fourth in the Home Guards. That’s a good record for a German father isn’t it? All four boys in the Army.

There is a show tonight but I am not going.

The Frogs have a lot of stuff to cheat us Yanks on but I hate to buy them. A little worthless cheap silk handkerchief costs a dollar. That is why I have never sent you anything before now. I have not sent Elinore anything either, but I will look around Saturday for something real French for you. I don’t care if it costs a couple months pay. If I get something you don’t like don’t blame me cause I am not much of a souvenir collector.

Your loving son,


Here’s Elinore’s brother Herbert, arriving home safely in April 1919:


Here’s Alfred, whom Robert has mentioned before, arriving a day earlier:


The Minnesota Home Guard was a volunteer organization created during the war to fill the gap left when the Minnesota National Guard was federalized. While the organization did do some good, including relief efforts following natural disasters, it also seems clear that the group was used by politicians and businesses to further their political and anti-labor objectives.

To be honest, I can’t figure out which of Elinore’s brothers could have been in the Home Guards or at the Great Lakes Training Station. After Herbert and Alfred, it seems like the others would have been too young. Edward was a Marine, but did not enlist until 1922.

Where was Robert today? See the timeline.

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